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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jun 12, 2014 11:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

re: "cutting slack"... "I go to shows to be entertained not bored stiff"...

First off, let's remember the taping issue: sure, they were wishy-washy about allowing audience taping early on - but, "they did" let us tape them, by and large. And when they did clamp down on us early on for taping them, what happened, typically? They took Gerry's tape deck from him at the door (~ 1971) and they "checked it into the tape deck room" for him - just like it was a "coat check". He was allowed in for the show! They sent a Hell's Angels security dude from backstage into the Roosevelt Stadium audience, and he confiscated my tape in the summer of 1973 while I was recording them. GD gave my tape back to us after Jimmy Watson asked them to give it back! I always square this shit up with cutting the band some slack.

Bored stiff: without GD's legendary unpredictability, creativity, and spontaneity, you'd be bored stiff, wouldn't you? It was fun and entertaining watching them on stage. You'd never go two or more nights in a row to see the same thing, would you? And, if you didn't have all the scene-shit to go with it - before, during, and after a GD-run in your area - what the fuck else would you be doing otherwise (and wasting your time on)? In fact, GD were doing "public service work" for us in my era - "my era" being '72 and '73, when I was hanging out with Deadheads.

The question is: once you've heard GD's amazing music played well, "outdoors and up close" (from about 30 or 40 feet away, f.o.b.), and it's played through Alembic's and GD's wall of sound system (or its prototype) and the gear is perfectly setup and adjusted, how do you explain to people how fucking incredible that is? What's boring as hell to me is that too many people still don't seem to get it, even when we have so many photos and videos coming into circulation. These were mind-altering experiences. Duh, there was NOTHING like it before this! Psychedelics definitely made the GD experience way better. If you weren't there, and if you haven't listened to the tapes from the early era, how would you know how to contextualize this shit? What other contextualization is there? If you missed it, why knock it? If you're bitching and knocking "something else" (later era?) maybe I should cut you some slack, and not be bored stiff when I keep hearing people knock my favorite band? Everything ebbs and flows, including the Grateful Dead.

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Poster: GerryO Date: Jun 12, 2014 6:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

Hi Monte,

My deck's Jul-1970 evening in the "coat check" room started at the Fillmore West at top of the stairs, as we were entering to see QMS. Times were changing and Bill Graham's staff may have been enforcing varying band policies, or we may have been just very lucky a month earlier. I'd also walked right carrying a tape deck at 1969 San Jose Fairgrounds Pavilion CCR and Winterland LZ shows, and a few weeks later we snuck it in to tape a Steve Miller Band/Bo Diddley show, but it felt like being busted for sneaking it in would have been worse than having it confiscated at the door for the night.

Performance wise it was impressive how CCR could duplicate things note for note in concert, and LZ was English, showy and loud, but the GD just felt so right and there was always the light show if you needed more visuals. The crowd was there to HEAR and appreciate the GD, and move to the music, not to see how much noise they could make during the performance. And check out the "A Night at the Family Dog" video for a look at just how uncomfortable the GD were in front of the camera, compared to the JA.

The total live concert experience was one thing, but it is also amazing to have so many shows on tape, where we can now repeatedly selectively listen to each band member's and the crowd's contribution collectively and individually. Their music holds up so well. Setlist wise I still cringe at those of many bands who played exactly the same setlist on an entire tour, hoping to get the name of the city correct when attempting to personalize a "hey blank-blank how are you all doing out there/are you having a good time?" greeting. And how many bands would play sets consisting mainly of songs not available on their records?

I'd really like to hear from those up front who locked eyes with JG during a song or solo, but the women that did probably never have frequented this or any similar place.

It's also a shame that so much energy and effort continues to be put into NOT preserving history, though it is tough enough already to move on, which isn't always forward.

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Jun 13, 2014 9:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: reply to my query

We share the same sentiments... precisely! It's no surprise to me when I hear you say this stuff. Too bad there's just the two of us discussing this. Aside from Bear and Jerry Moore, most older tapers are still around. It's fairly easy to track down most of them. For now, if you want to see this history preserved, you have to do it yourself. I don't have the resources to do this, other than my human body.
- my taper resume
- my lengthy taping story